The Scottish system of property selling has much to commend it and both sellers and estate agents in England often glance jealously north of the border where we don’t have the blight of ‘gazumping’ and buyers are less likely to pull out at the last minute.
The downside of our system, in the eyes of some however, is the process of blind bids, where potential buyers are expected to offer over the asking price of a property without knowing what others in the market are bidding.
In a sense, it offers us the chance to buy a property for the purest of motives – what, we believe it’s genuinely worth.
Most of us will have experienced that heart-racing moment of viewing a home we believe is perfect in every way, convinced our lives will never be complete unless we own it.
When that happens, we may resolve immediately to pitch our bid at the highest possible level above the asking price in the hope that, of all those who have noted an interest, our pockets are the deepest.
Alternatively, we may quickly come to the deadening realisation that, no matter how much we beg, borrow or steal, we’ll never be able to match the winning bid and so we retire to a darkened bedroom to deal with our grief.
In both circumstances, we’re acting from a position of ignorance with little way of knowing whether our instincts are right. Even when they are, we can come agonisingly close but still fall short.
At Purdie & co we’ve sold family homes worth more than £600,000 where the difference between the highest and the second highest bid has been just £3. We’ve also sold properties where the successful buyer paid £60,000 more than the second highest bidder.
The system can be equally frustrating for sellers as it requires them to set a price that’s low enough to attract lots of interest but on the assumption that potential buyers will bid sufficiently high over the asking price to match their target.
We’re fortunate in Edinburgh and the Lothians that, despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit over the past few years, the property market has remained buoyant, with sales and confidence holding up.
Other areas of the UK have not fared so well. Some will inevitably be quieter, often due to a range of factors, and if the response to our home going on the market is slower than we expect, the first thing we tend to focus on is the asking price.
Estate agents value homes based on records of similar, recently sold properties in the same area, along with other relevant factors, and they should arrive at the highest figure they think is achievable. The same figures are used by surveyors to quantify mortgage valuations.
Of course, each house is different and there may be exceptional reasons for one property taking longer to sell than another, seemingly identical one in the same street.
However, if an estate agent habitually recommends to clients that they should drop the asking price, it’s usually a sign that they haven’t done their job properly in the first place.
Estate agencies whose valuations are realistic are more likely to meet or exceed sellers’ expectations and stand a better chance of achieving the full home report price or more.
Properties that struggle to sell may be because it was incorrectly priced at the outset and this can be a result of the estate agent talking-up valuations to secure a client, negotiating poorly with potential buyers or a combination of both.
Purdie & Co have consistently exceeded the ESPC average for speed of sale and asking price because we care about what we do. We do our utmost to ensure you get the best price possible for your home while delivering excellent customer service.
To have your home valued by trusted experts, call Purdie & Co on 0131 346 7240 or visit www.purdiesolicitors.co.uk